Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County3MotherwellMotherwell2

Ross County 3-2 Motherwell

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Victoria Park

Ross County won at home for just the second time this season to move within three points of Motherwell at the foot of the Premiership.

Martin Woods hammered the hosts in front with a stunning volley, with Conor Grant levelling from a free-kick.

Former 'Well defender Paul Quinn thumped in a header to restore County's lead and Raffaele de Vita added another impressive volley for the Staggies.

Fraser Kerr knocked in a header on 78 minutes but the Highlanders held on.

Motherwell did not lose any ground on 10th-placed St Mirren - who lost at home to Inverness CT - but the Steelmen remain in the play-off spot, having picked up just one point from their last seven outings.

The visitors had started brightly and Fraser Kerr should have capitalised on a number of of free headers from Grant deliveries.

But the home side gradually gained control and crucially capitalised as their influence on the match peaked.

An intricate move ended with Woods playing a neat one-two with Liam Boyce to fire a tremendous dipping volley low past goalkeeper George Long.

County were determined and posed a real attacking threat but Motherwell found a route back early in the second half.

Debutant Grant sized up a free-kick and curled in a lovely left-footed effort which eluded the defensive wall and keeper Mark Brown.

It was a head-in-hands moment for home fans who presumably feared the worst given County's home record this season.

However, County demonstrated real character by surging ahead in a period of the match which proved decisive.

Quinn rose above everyone in the area to connect with a flighted De Vita free-kick and powered a header home against his former club.

Fraser Kerr powered in a header for Motherwell but the visitors could not find a leveller
Fraser Kerr powered in a header for Motherwell but the visitors could not find a leveller

Home fans were now ecstatic, and further so, when their third goal arrived in fine style as another cross from the right flank evaded a despairing defensive leap.

De Vita came surging in from the left with perfect timing to connect with a thunderous volley which proved unstoppable.

Just when it seemed Jim McIntyre's side might ease to a rare victory, Motherwell upped the ante with their second goal.

A simple corner arrived in the six yard box, where Kerr was on hand to nod in off the underside of the crossbar.

That goal came with 12 minutes remaining and set up as tense a finish as you could imagine, with County willing the ball away from their goal as the seconds ticked away.

And the hosts held out for just their third win of a frustrating campaign to breathe life into their bid for top flight survival.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Brown
  • 44FraserBooked at 69mins
  • 5Boyd
  • 43Quinn
  • 12ReckordBooked at 64mins
  • 26Woods
  • 36IrvineBooked at 55mins
  • 24De VitaSubstituted forDingwallat 70'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 40GardyneSubstituted forKissat 83'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSernasat 90+4'minutes
  • 16Boyce

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 7Cardle
  • 10Kiss
  • 20Sernas
  • 29Macleod
  • 30Dingwall
  • 38Burgess

Motherwell

  • 1Long
  • 2Reid
  • 6McManus
  • 5RamsdenBooked at 80mins
  • 20Kerr
  • 46ThomasSubstituted forJohnsonat 59'minutes
  • 47GrantSubstituted forAinsworthat 87'minutes
  • 14LasleySubstituted forMooreat 65'minutes
  • 44Straker
  • 19Erwin
  • 9Sutton

Substitutes

  • 4Carswell
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 12Twardzik
  • 18Law
  • 22Moore
  • 24Johnson
  • 26Thomas
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
2,982

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Darvydas Sernas replaces Craig Curran.

  4. Post update

    Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Straker (Motherwell).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Filip Kiss (Ross County).

  7. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Paul Quinn (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Lee Erwin (Motherwell).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Conor Grant because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Anthony Straker.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Filip Kiss (Ross County).

  14. Post update

    Anthony Straker (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Filip Kiss replaces Michael Gardyne.

  16. Booking

    Simon Ramsden (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Simon Ramsden (Motherwell).

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 3, Motherwell 2. Fraser Kerr (Motherwell) header from very close range to the top right corner following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.